Category Archives: Child Development

Speedway to Healthy races to fight childhood obesity

Thousands of North Carolina school children have brushed teeth with a giant toothbrush and filtered through kidneys during tours of the 1,200-square-foot, interactive exhibit The Speedway to Healthy.

Designed to combat childhood obesity, the custom-made exhibit of the human body’s interior was created and is managed by Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

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Longtime early childhood professor honored in a major way

Dr. Valerie Jarvis McMillan, an early childhood professional with 25 years of experience, was honored by Guilford Child Development at the 2017 Early Childhood Champions Luncheon in October.

An associate professor in childhood development and family studies in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, McMillan was feted for her legacy of training other early childhood educators. She was honored at the luncheon by none other than Gov. Roy Cooper, who delivered the keynote address, and by A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., who presented the award to her.

“The people in this room get it,” Cooper told a crowd of nearly 600 people, as reported by the Greensboro News and Record. “You know what it takes to start early in the life of children, many of whom are born into circumstances that are difficult.” Continue reading Longtime early childhood professor honored in a major way

Dr. Meeshay Williams-Wheeler receives grant to encourage healthy lifestyles

Dr. Meeshay Williams-Wheeler has received a $500 grant from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences for a project to combat the childhood obesity epidemic through gardening.

The project, FCSfitKIDS: Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in a Family Mentor Experience, will teach undergraduates how to use gardening education and activities to encourage young children to eat healthy and stay active. Continue reading Dr. Meeshay Williams-Wheeler receives grant to encourage healthy lifestyles

New faculty hired

extension_iconThe SAES welcomes two new teaching-faculty members, whose appointments were effective Jan. 6:

  • Carter Crawford
    Carter Crawford

    Carter Crawford, assistant professor of Landscape Architecture in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, brings with him more than 35 years of teaching and professional experience in designing large- and medium-size public, commercial and private landscapes, mostly in the Triangle area. Crawford, whose Ph.D. is from N.C. State University, is president of Carter Crawford DESIGN PA. Prior to joining N.C. A&T, he served as associate professor of the practice of landscape architecture at N.C. State from 2008 – 2013. Throughout his career, he has served as president, project landscape architect, and landscape designer for numerous design and engineering firms. Crawford also has extensive experience serving in advisory capacities for various public entities, including the City of Raleigh and Town of Apex’s appearance commissions, the Landscape Architecture Advisory Council for N.C. State, and others. In addition to serving as program coordinator in the SAES, Crawford is currently teaching landscape design studios to freshman and seniors.

  • Sherrell Hicklen House is an assistant professor in the Child Development and Family Studies Program of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Her academic background includes an undergraduate degree in psychology from Howard University, a master’s degree in psychology in education from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University. While pursuing her master’s and doctorate, House amassed numerous academic honors, awards, grants, scholarships, assistantships and a fellowship. House’s teaching experience includes serving as a teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh for multiple courses and serving as instructor of record for Michigan State University from 2011 – 2015, teaching courses in research methods and child development and family sciences, both online and in person. Since 2006, she has assisted in 10 research studies and is co-author of multiple publications, with several upcoming publications in the pipeline. Currently, House teaches FCS 260: Introduction to Human Development, FCS 331: Family Systems, and FCS 432: Culturally Responsive Perspectives for Children and and Family.

FCS trio hits high note

documents_iconThree members of the Family and Consumer Sciences faculty are authors of an article in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences. Drs. Sung-Jin Lee, Meeshay Williams-Wheeler, and Jane Walker’s “Assessing Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Students’ Familiarity with the FCS-BOK [Body of Knowledge]” is scheduled for publication in Volume 107 Issue 2, of the journal. As Family and Consumer Sciences instructors at HBCUs have more fully integrated the discipline’s body of knowledge into their curricula, differing impacts have become measureable. The SAES team’s findings were that areas of study and class rank were significant factors in students’ familiarity with cross cutting themes of the FCS-BOK.

Child Development Laboratory localizes national celebration

The SAES’s Child Development Laboratory (CDL) celebrated the 2015 “Week of the Young Child” — April 12 to 18 —  by hosting guest readers and special presentations for preschoolers enrolled in the CDL. The guest instruction and selected readings were provided by SAES faculty, staff and administrators, and a firefighter with the Greensboro Fire department’s Inspections/Education unit.

Dr. Antoine Alston, associate dean for the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences reads Chicken Little to a group of four and five year olds at the Child Development Lab on Tuesday, April 14.
Dr. Antoine Alston, associate dean for the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences reads Chicken Little to a group of four and five year olds at the Child Development Lab on Tuesday, April 14.

Special observances for “Week of the Young Child’ at the SAES’s CDL were:

  • on Monday, April 13, with a “Music and Movement” session led by Dr. Valerie McMillan, associate professor, Child Development and Family Studies;
  • Tuesday, April 14, with an “Agricultural Day” led by Dr. Antoine Alston, the SAES’s associate dean for academics, and a presentation by Jonathan Bryant of the Greensboro Fire Department and another introducing container gardening by two associates from A&T Cooperative Extension, Dr. Travella Free and Kurt Taylor;
  • Wednesday, April 15, with a “Literacy Day” led by Dr. Thurman Guy of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences with guest presenter Dr. Radiah Minor of the Department of Animal Sciences;
  • Thursday, April 16, with a “Nutrition Day” highlighted by a reading by Dr. Valerie Giddings, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences;
  • Friday, April 17, which was “Creative Expression Day” at the CDL and fathers of CDL children helped coordinate the wrap-up celebration for “Week of the Young Child.”

The Week of the Young Child is a nationwide celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Primary objectives are to focus public awareness on the needs of young children and their families, and to recognize the early childhood programs and services responsible for meeting those needs.

FCS one of 47 programs in U.S. with AAFCS accreditation

academics iconThe SAES’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) was recently informed that the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) approved accreditation of its undergraduate programs for another 10 years. The next full review won’t be needed until 2024. The department is the largest of the SAES’s four academic units and has been a unit within the School since its inception in 1932-33. The department was first accredited by the AAFCS in 1984 and has successfully maintained its accreditation for 30 years. The department is among 47 programs nationwide with AAFCS accreditation. It is currently one of three AAFCS-accredited programs in the North Carolina and the only one at an HBCU in the state.

The SAES’s FCS offers degrees in four program areas:
Child Development and Family Studies
Family and Consumer Sciences
Fashion Merchandising and Design
Food and Nutritional Sciences

AAFCS accreditation standards reflect evaluations of the range of faculty expertise, and research and program effectiveness in preparing students for furthering their educations and professional advancement. The AAFCS Council for Accreditation criteria for program assessment now extends to community service learning, undergraduate research opportunities and other contemporary standards for globalizing family and consumer sciences courses and programs.

Week of the Young Child not to be neglected by SAES Child Development Laboratory

calendar iconThe SAES’s Child Development Laboratory will celebrate the 2014 "Week of the Young Child" — April 6 to 12 — with four days of guest readers for preschoolers enrolled in the CDL. The guest readers are SAES faculty and administrators and a children’s book author from Raleigh, Kelly Starling Lyons. The readings will begin at 10 a.m. at the Child Development Lab (114 N. Luther St.) April 7 through 10. Topics and readers will be:
• Monday, April 7, a "Music and Movement" session led by Dr. Valerie McMillan, associate professor, Child Development and Family Studies,
• Tuesday, April 8, an "Agricultural Day" led by Dr. Antoine Alston, the SAES’s interim associate dean for academics, and Dr. Chastity Warren English, an SAES adjunct assistant professor,
• Wednesday, April 9, a "Literacy Day" led by author Kelly Starling Lyons,
• Thursday, April 10, a "Nutrition Day" with readings by Dr. Valerie Giddings, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Dr. Radiah C. Minor, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Sciences.

Friday, April 11, will be "Creative Expression Day" at the CDL and fathers of CDL children will coordinate the wrap-up celebration for "Week of the Young Child."

The Week of the Young Child is a nationwide celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Primary objectives are to focus public awareness on the needs of young children and their families, and to recognize the early childhood programs and services responsible for meeting those needs.

NCFR registration discounts have mid-October cutoff

info iconA multidisciplinary professional organization that makes its annual conference a forum for researchers and educators, the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), will have its 2013 gathering in San Antonio Nov. 6 through 9, but the final cutoff for registration discounts is Oct. 14. The 2013 theme is “Well-Being of Children and Youth in Families and Communities.”  The conference agenda has a dozen major plenaries, and hundreds of workshops tailored to students — covering topics with practical applications ranging from grant writing to preparation of manuscripts for scholarly journals.

Prior to Oct. 14, the registration rates are $340 for NCFR members and $125 for NCFR student members. After the cutoff, those fees jump to $405 and $170, respectively. The rates for non-member professionals are $460 prior to Oct. 14 and $535 as of Oct. 2. For students who aren’t NCFR members, the registration fee is $200 before Aug. 1 and $345 after the cutoff.

Discount rate to participate soon to dissipate

info iconThe final early bird registration discount for the North Carolina Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NCEAFCS) 2013 State Association and Professional Development Conference comes to an end on Monday, July 22. This year’s conference will be at the Embassy Suites in Concord Aug. 28 to 30. Until July 22, the registration fee for the conference is $155, and from then on it’s $165.

Among the highlights on the NCEAFCS conference agenda this year are a session that will be led by a Charlotte author whose "Change the Way You See … Not the Way You Look" philosophy for revamping self esteem has been featured on the Today Show, a new Extension parenting education program for families facing divorce or other major changes in parenting responsibilities, and another new Extension program that delineates an introduction to financial literacy into five sessions. And for Extension personnel who have been looking for an opportunity to get a long look and informed tour of the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, there will be an optional tour of the Research Campus Core Lab Building for NCEAFCS participants from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 28 — prior to the luncheon that marks the official start of the conference at 12:30 p.m.

Members of The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T’s field staff who are currently NCEAFCS district officeholders are Shelia Dalcoe of Guilford County, who is the North Central District’s vice president for professional development; Sharon English of Scotland County, who is treasurer for the South Central District; and Deborah Womack of Forsyth County, who is president-elect of the North Central District.

Good Guydance lasts a lifetime

For the current issue of the Alumni Times, the staff at University Relations selected Emilee Christopher of the Class of 2009 for one of the issue’s "Aggies in the News." Christopher is a child development and family studies major who went on to become the director of operations at Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School in New York.

According to the Alumni Times: "Throughout her life Christopher has been faced with a surplus of choices that have put her decision making skills to the test. It all began in 2006 with the help of an associate professor in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Thurman Guy [of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences]. Dr. Guy helped her make a major decision to leave the Lady Aggies basketball team and fully concentrate on her academics." When interviewed for the Alumni Times, Christopher also traced her route to success back to when,  "Dr. Guy and I embarked on creating a professional development plan for me."

Journal looking for looks into family resiliency

The interdisciplinary journal Family Relations, which has been publishing articles covering research and educational philosophies since 1951, has set June 1 as the prospectus submission deadline for a special issue of the publication that will focus on "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Strengthening Family and Individual Resilience: Conceptual, Empirical and Practical Innovations." The guest editor is looking for papers that: articulate current theories about family resilience; illustrate family resiliency buffered by real-world issues; highlight research; papers address methodological issues; or outline impediments to innovation. Prospectuses submitted should be three-to-five pages in length. Invitations for full manuscripts will go out by June 15.

Habit informing

Dr. Meesha Williams-WheelerDr. Meeshay Williams-Wheeler, an associate professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), and Kristin Battle, an FCS birth-kindergarten (B-K) major, comprise two-thirds of a multidisciplinary trio from A&T that made a presentation covering how “We’re Movin’: A Model for Child Health” at the 42nd Annual Conference of the National Black Child Development Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last month. Williams-Wheeler and Battle were joined by Dr. Sharon Warren Cook, interim chair for A&T’s Dept. of Sociology and Social Work and interim co-director of the Joint Master of Social Work Program, in preparing the presentation, which reflected preliminary findings of an Evans-Allen research project entitled “Examining Dietary Habits of African American Families to Reduce Obesity.” Project researchers are working with faith-based and community leaders to promote healthy behaviors in families and young children.

Any next-gen scientists in our midst?

academics iconThe National Science Foundation is providing funding for a project that will bring together 12 emerging “next gen” communicators and 12 early career scholars to come up with new approaches to communicating science and policy issues to general audiences. The individuals selected will work together — in four-day workshops in Washington in October and in Arizona next May — to fuse the creative processes that drive scientific research and innovative writing into an article or essay for general audiences, suitable for one of the nationally distributed publications collaborating in the project.

The project website’s answer to the question, "Are you a next-gen scholar?” indicates that while applicants should have doctorates in a scientific field, and preference will be given to applicants who have received their doctorates since 2006 and are not in tenured positions.

The Center for Science Policy and Outcomes, which is administering the "To Think, To Write, To Publish Program" will be accepting applications for the 2012 program until June 15.

Current child development issues focus of July conference in Cincinnati

globe iconThe Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) will bring educators, researchers, policymakers and as many as 1,500 youth development professionals together in Cincinnati from July 22 to 25 for “Pursuing Justice for Children and the Poor With Urgency and Persistence: A Community and Youth Empowerment Conference.” The conference will give special attention to community-building models and shortcomings in the current juvenile justice system. Community building and engagement models that the CDF and allied organizations have developed will be showcased. The latest research and most effective practices addressing the special challenges facing African American males 9 to 13 will be a conference emphasis.

The registration fee until July 6 is $225, but jumps to $250 after the cutoff. The student registration fee is $50.

Welcome mat getting workout

people iconTalia Carroll, a graduate assistant with the Office of Multicultural Programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, will be giving a presentation on undergraduate research and graduate school opportunities that will begin at  5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Room A-14 of the C.H. Moore Agricultural Research Station. All SAES students interested in details about undergraduate research and graduate study at Penn State are invited to attend Carroll’s presentation, which is sponsored by the A&T chapter of the student organization Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). 
Refreshments will be served. Additional details on the program are available from the SAES MANRRS chapter president for the 2011-12 academic year, James Totton or from chapter faculty advisors: Drs. Tracy Hanner or Paula Faulkner.

Representatives from the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will be on campus Nov. 14 and 15 to talk with SAES students about internships and employment opportunities. The Kentucky Extension Service representatives coming to Greensboro will also be joining SAES students and faculty for several classes during their visit.

Students will have two time spans to schedule 15-minute appointments for discussions of employment opportunities, internships and graduate study with the representatives from Kentucky Cooperative Extension: 3-5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14 and 1:30 – 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15. SAES students who are interested in scheduling an appointment should contact the SAES faculty coordinator for the visit, Dr. Antoine Alston of the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education, 336.334.7711.

Students shopping for grad schools should set aside Nov. 9

info iconAt the invitation of A&T’s Office of Career Services, representatives from more than 40 graduate, medical, law, nursing and professional schools will be on campus Wednesday, Nov. 9, to discuss programs, financial aid and the application process at the institutions or consortiums they represent. The Office of Career Services “2010 Graduate & Professional School Fair” will be from noon to 3 p.m. at the Memorial Student Union’s Stallings Ballroom. A list of participating universities and consortiums that will be coming is available at the Office of Career Services website. All SAES students are welcome. Those attending should bring along BANNER ID numbers and copies of their resumes. Professional dress is strongly recommended.

RAP up

The SAES’s 2011 Research Apprentice Program for 20 top-notch high school students came to a grand finale on Friday, July 24. The research apprentices, who have been working closely with SAES research scientists on a project  for the past four weeks, made presentations and discussed what their new grasp on a branch of science few high school students are exposed to.

This year’s RAP geographic range was from Maryland to Georgia, with the spike in North Carolina, home state of 17 of the 20 RAP students.

The range of subjects for research projects was equally broad: from agroforestry to genetic markers for livestock apt to produce twins, to dietary fiber, biodiesel and antimicrobial properties of onions. The closing ceremonies program listing of 2011 RAP students — complete with projects, hometowns and faculty mentors — is now available on the SAES website.